The internet is no longer a luxury, it is now a necessity. Yet still too many people lack stable, reliable and high-quality access, especially in economically disadvantaged and geographically remote groups.
The government and service providers are working to close this digital divide, but there are still sizable gaps to overcome. Other organizations like universities, law firms, accelerator programs, economic development groups, coding bootcamps and corporate entities are pitching in, helping folks find programs and resources to get connected or providing direct assistance of their own.
They engage in this effort because they know that every person struggling with broadband access is a missed opportunity, and that the strength of their local tech and business ecosystem depends on interconnectivity. Increased access would mean increased equity, and would be a key component in creating the level playing field and economic vitality they’re working toward.
For the month of August, Technical.ly’s reporting has explored the theme of Broadband Connectivity for our editorial calendar. For some additional perspectives, we asked our Technical.ly Ecosystem Builder companies the following question:
What impact would widespread increased broadband access have on your org’s work, and how is your org supporting that goal for your community?
Here are some replies from their teams, and if you like what you see, follow the links to companies’ Directory Pages to learn more and explore ways to connect.
Verizon — Underwriter of Broadband Connectivity Month 2023
“Increased broadband access to all homes, regardless of location, will help ensure all residents are able to be connected in today’s society. New, exciting partnership opportunities were made available, at both local and state levels, through the American Rescue Plan Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. These partnerships are allowing us to connect residents that have historically lacked access to quality, high-speed broadband, and with the Verizon Forward Program and the Affordable Connectivity Program, more residents have access to free or low-cost broadband connectivity.” — Paul Brooks Plymouth, director of state government and local engagement
“We’re on a mission to democratize digital health and wellness through open source solutions that expand the delivery and lower the costs of care. Digital healthcare has the potential to dramatically improve the lives of populations traditionally underserved by the healthcare industry. However, access to high-speed internet access is needed to benefit from telehealth visits, wellness apps or other life-improving digital experiences. As Arcweb continues working towards our objective, we’re pursuing partnerships with like-minded healthcare leaders to bring new digital health solutions to those that need it most.” — Mark Hughey, head of strategy
“Increased broadband access directly impacts DEBCC’s ability to work more efficiently. As all our work is embedded in equity, our efforts towards a level playing field for all includes ensuring equitable access, as well as increased access to broadband connectivity. Increased broadband connectivity is directly linked to business growth and stability. It enables jobs and supports Delaware’s growing digital economy.
The DEBCC is focused, from every angle, to getting offline groups and business online, and aiming for as close to universal connectivity access as possible is a core policy in our efforts to build a level playing field for all.” — Ayanna Khan, founder, president and CEO
“TEDCO works closely with entrepreneurs across Maryland to provide them with access to the resources they need to succeed, and widespread increased broadband access would allow us to further support entrepreneurs throughout the state, offering them access to our resources and funding opportunities. To support this greater access, TEDCO administers programs like the Maryland Makerspace Initiative Program, a program created to support the growth and creation of Makerspaces in Maryland; these Makerspaces can provide entrepreneurs with access to different resources, including broadband internet.” — Terry Rauh, chief finance and operations officer
“It’s difficult to imagine reliable broadband access not positively impacting the work of any organization addressing the needs of underserved communities. In instances where participants in the Science Center’s STEM education (FirstHand) and workforce training (BULB) programs don’t have access to reliable internet, we provide a laptop and a place to work including dedicated touchdown space in our FirstHand lab that’s open to any current or alumni student. As an example, a student recently used the FirstHand lab to complete college placement exams and to focus on a senior project required for high school graduation.” — Kristen Fitch, senior director of marketing
Want to support broadband connectivity in your local community? Check out all the Technical.ly Ecosystem Builder companies here, and find out about their missions and cultures.
P.S. If you’re curious about Technical.ly’s services for your own org, find more info here and connect with us.
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